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5 Days Highlight Midrange Safari in Tanzania

Ilboru Safari Lodge, Arusha, Tanzania

Incredible Tanzania Safaris

This lodge and tented camp safari allows you to experience the highlights of the Northern Circuit. You will experience incredible wildlife in the midst of some of the most diverse landscapes. Witness monkeys in the forest, lions in trees, elephants amongst acacias, and a huge variety of animals inside a collapsed volcano. You will also visit Serengeti National Park, which is home to three million animals. The spectacular grassy plains offers the best opportunity for viewing the cheetah, leopard, and lion.

Key information

  • Starting and ending point: Arusha
  • Languages: English, French, German, and Spanish
  • Park fees are included.

Highlights

  • 4 exciting game drives
  • Full day Ngorongoro Crater tour
  • Explore Serengeti, Lake Manyara, and Ngorongoro Crater
  • Spot the Big Five as well as zebras, giraffes, wild dogs, and more
  • Services of a private safari guide
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Daily delicious meals
  • Airport transfers

Styles


4 activity days in English
The organizer also speaks: French, German, Spanish
Airport transfer included: Kilimanjaro International Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
06:00
Check-out Time:
18:00

Night 1: Ilboru Safari Lodge

On the first night of your safari, you will be staying at Ilboru Safari Lodge in Arusha on bed and breakfast accommodations. Nestled on the lower slopes of the majestic Mount Meru, the legendary Ilboru Safari Lodge has been welcoming mountain climbers and safari travelers to Northern Tanzania for decades.

Ideally located between the northern safari circuit and Mount Kilimanjaro, the beautiful Swahili sanctuary is set on a five-acre plot, tucked away beneath ancient trees on the outskirts of Arusha town. Their team is focused on providing simple comforts and fine hospitality. With crisp white linen, extra pillows, fluffy towels, and a desk to write in your journal, you have everything to make the sanctuary your home.

The lodge has 38 rooms which to accommodates guests in single, double, twin, triple, and family rooms. Four rooms are in the main building, close to the pool and other facilities, each with a balcony overlooking the garden. The rest of the rooms are in double cottages situated throughout the lushly landscaped grounds. The lodge has a conference center, reception, gift shop, swimming pool, botanical gardens, dining and massage services, as well as Wi-Fi.

Night 2: Eileen’s Trees Inn

On the second night, you will be staying at Eileen’s Trees Inn in Karatu. The inn has 20 rooms. En-suite single, double, triple, and family rooms are available on request. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, privately situated throughout lush gardens. Each room has twin beds or a large queen size bed with mosquito nets. Triples are possible on request. All rooms have a writing desk and seating on the veranda.

The bathrooms have a large shower with hot water on request. Bottled drinking water is provided in every room. The guest rooms are set in beautiful tropical gardens and you will find a bar, small lounge area, and dining room set in a rustic wooden building reminiscent of a tree house. Their own dedicated water source is a deep pure well to ensure your stay with is healthy. They also provide bottled water in the rooms.

Night 3: Serengeti Heritage Luxury Tented Camp

For night three, you will be staying at Serengeti Heritage Luxury Tented Camp. The camp is located in Northern Tanzania, in the central part of the famous Serengeti National Park. They provide all types of accommodation for anyone who needs to have the maximum relaxation during hard day of wildlife exploration inside the park in single, double, twin, and triple rooms.

The traditional tented camp is by far the best choice to explore wildlife on a safari in Africa. There is nothing to compare with being in a luxurious camp in a beautiful setting with the sights and sounds of nature close by. If you might want to come to Africa to see the wildlife and the beautiful landscapes while being close to the rhythm of nature, the luxurious tented camp provides the perfect way to do so!

Serengeti Heritage Luxury Tented Camp provides its guests with the most authentic African experience due to its colonial, old days’ hunter’s camp ambience. Sitting snugly in a clearing surrounded by acacia trees, its 13 spacious walk-in tents create an intimate atmosphere for only 40 guests while indulging them with the amenities of a big lodge, as all tents are equipped with running water, flush toilets, and hot and cold water shower.

The friendly staff will go to their extremes to ensure that you have a wonderful, satisfying, and memorable stay. In order to protect its amazing environment, the camp runs entirely on solar energy in terms of electricity and hot water supply. A backup generator is only used to ensure electricity supply throughout rainy days.

Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge

On the fourth night, you will be staying at Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge. The lodge is strategically perched on the rim of the “Garden of Eden,” affording unbelievable views plunging down over the crater floor, 7,500 feet above sea level. The lodge is elegantly built mainly of natural stone and local wood, harmoniously merging with its natural surroundings, provided with panoramic windows that encompass superb views of the crater’s great bowl.

From its privileged position, all the lodge’s 80 rooms afford breathtaking uninterrupted views and the open–air terrace of the Rhino Lounge Bar offers superb panoramic views of the whole crater. Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge invites you to an unforgettable safari experience from its privileged location, both for game viewing and scenery.

Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge has rooms exquisitely decorated, offering a serene atmosphere of elegance. The modern rooms are all en-suite, with central heating systems and mosquito netting over the air vents. The 80 rooms include twin rooms, double rooms with one double bed, one presidential suite, and three junior suites. There are also interconnecting rooms specially designed for families. Wake-up calls can be made on request.

Program

Day 1: Arrival day

Arrive in Tanzania and check-in at Ilboru Safari Lodge in Arusha. There, you will enjoy the day in a bed and breakfast accommodation and prepare for your adventure the next day.

Day 2: Lake Manyara National Park

In the morning, you will be collected from your accommodation in Arusha by your personal safari guide. The drive to Lake Manyara National Park is on a good tarmac road, across the gently rolling Maasai plains with scattered acacia trees. En-route, you will pass many Maasai in their colorful dress walking on the roadside, riding bicycles, herding their cattle, and driving donkey carts.

The park’s namesake is a shallow, salt lake. It covers a large area of the park, flooding and drying with the seasons and is home to thousands of flamingos and over 500 other bird species. On your exploration of the park, you will see monkeys, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, buffalos, elephants, and with some luck, lions lounging in the trees.

After an extensive game drive, having experienced the various sights and sounds of the wilderness, you will leave the park and head to your nearby lodge where you will enjoy dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 3: Serengeti National Park

After breakfast, you will set off for the famous Serengeti National Park, home of the Great Migration. The views are spectacular as you drive up the Crater Highlands, stopping at the rim for a birds-eye view of the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater. Continuing on, spread out before you, is the vast Serengeti. Serengeti means “endless plains” in Kiswahili and the 6,900 square mile park is inhabited by more than two million large animals including more than a million wildebeests.

Large predators including lions, cheetahs, and hyenas are drawn to the area by the abundance of prey which migrates through the park. Many smaller animals like the rock hyrax, bat-eared foxes, the mongoose, honey badger, jackals, monkeys, baboons, and African hares also inhabit the area along with nearly 500 species of birds. After your extensive game drive, you will arrive at your accommodation and enjoy dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 4: Serengeti National Park to Ngorongoro Conservation Area

After breakfast, you will embark upon another incredible game drive in the Serengeti before traveling to the Ngorongoro Crater. Arriving at the edge of the crater in the afternoon, you will have your first glimpse of what awaits you the following day, such as glistening streams, open grassland, and an infinite number of animals. You will spend the night at a nearby lodge with the orange glow of sunset surrounding you as you drift off to sleep.

Day 5: Ngorongoro Crater to Arusha

After an early breakfast, you will descend into the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest volcanic caldera. It is almost 20 kilometers wide, approximately 600 meters deep, and is known for its large variety of wildlife.

In addition to the Big Five, the various springs attract animals such as wildebeests, gazelles, reedbucks, and more than 500 bird species. After lunch, you will make your return journey to Arusha, arriving at approximately 4:00 p.m.

Location

This safari will take place in Lake Manyara National Park, Serengeti National Park, and Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is known for having the largest elephant population in northern Tanzania. Currently, Tarangire has 3 major elephant populations with each population having around 1,000 elephants. The national park also has zebras, giraffes, wild dogs, hyenas, hippos, wildebeest, impalas, jackals, waterbucks, cheetahs, kudus, Grant gazelles, dikdiks, lions, leopards, fringe eared oryx, and eland. View the Tarangire River, which attracts animal life and has many Baobab trees. During the short rainy season (November-December), it is commonplace to see tree-climbing lions.

Serengeti National Park

Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park is the Serengeti. It is a world heritage site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The Serengeti is arguably the most scintillating game-viewing sites in all of Africa, it features big mammals, cats, and an amazing variety of herbaceous and carnivorous animals. It is also the native lands of the Maasai who have lived there for millennia herding their cattle.

Tanzania’s Serengeti ecosystem includes the Maasai Mara in Kenya. 75 percent of the unique ecosystem is in Tanzania. Its lush green ocean of green grasses is 5,700 square miles. The grasses are the result of volcanic eruptions in the Ngorongoro area three million years ago. It spreads volcanic ashes throughout the wide area now known as the Serengeti plains.

The ashes had high concentrations of phosphorous creating the mineral-rich fertile soils covering a vast area growing short green grasses that support millions of wildlife. The Serengeti supports huge numbers of wildlife. The Serengeti is the natural habitat of the Big Five, such as the rhino, elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, giraffe, 400 species of birds, hippos, gazelle, jackal, hare, dik-dik, mongoose, warthog, hedgehog, cheetah, waterbuck, hartebeest, ostrich, and crocodile.

Where the Southern Serengeti plains meet the Central Serengeti, woodlands are a mixture of diverse species. It includes predatory carnivorous animals, big cats, and hyenas. The Seronera River in the central region is the habitat of the famous tree lion, tree climbing leopards, and prides of lions. All of those animals have their own natural predators and prey.

The bulk of the three million animal herds participating in the Great Migration are the wildebeest. Wildebeests thrive on the short grasses with high concentrations of phosphorous as every cell of their body contains phosphorous. The Great Migration also includes zebras, antelopes, and other species that circulate in a clockwise direction following water sources on an annual 1,800-mile trek.

The fall rains is calving season when 250,000 wildebeest calves are born over a three-week period in the Southern Serengeti. They graze on the grasses in preparation for the next stage of their migration to the northwest Serengeti that begins in the early spring.

From October to December, the migration makes its way from the Maasai Mara in the Northern Serengeti region to Southern Serengeti along its eastern border formed by the Great Rift Valley escarpment to begin the calving season. Once the herd arrives in the Southwestern Serengeti, calving season begins when the wildebeest give birth to a quarter million newborns during a three-week period.

It is a great time to see the drama of the hunt, as predatory animals seek their babies. The short rains occur from November to December. Kusini Camp is on the wildebeest migration path where they congregate on Kusini’s grassy plains during the calving season. The Southern Serengeti has specific areas that provide exceptional views of the Great Migration such as the Moru Kopjes where the rare black rhino migrate that time of year and where you can see Maasai rock paintings.

It is also an exceptional location for viewing cheetahs, as is Gol Kopjes where fresh green grasses attract cheetahs. Lake Ndutu, one of the Rift Valley’s soda lakes, attracts flamingos that nest in its waters. It also has stunning acacia woodlands where a variety of animal species hunt within this eco-system.

From January to March, the Great Migration is scattered between Southern Serengeti and Ndutu in the Ngorongoro side. That time of the year is also a calving season whereby the wildebeests give birth. From April to May, the long, heavy rainy season occurs when many camps are closed in the Southwestern and Central Serengeti.

In the Central Serengeti, the Great Migration must defend itself against large prides of lions, leopards, and cheetahs located in the area. In June, around 800,000 zebras along with antelopes in the Western Serengeti region join the Great Migration of about 1.8 million wildebeest.

It is one of the most exciting and breathtaking times to view the Great Migration as the massive herds of animals attempt to cross the Grumeti River that is filled with hungry crocodiles. As the baby wildebeest and zebras are still young, they make easy prey for the huge crocodiles that wait in the Grumeti River’s turbulent rushing waters.

Many animals drown as they cross the Grumeti, getting pulled downstream by rushing currents heading westward towards Lake Victoria. By July to September, the migration has made its way to the Northwestern region of the Serengeti, located in Southwestern Kenya called the Maasai Mara. It is an amazingly beautiful sight at to see the migration crossing the famous Mara River.

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro derives its name from the Maasai tribe who are the native peoples of the area. Referred to as the crown jewel of the Serengeti, Ngorongoro’s breathtaking views overlook a 2,000-foot drop to its volcanic caldera crater floor formed over three million years ago. A caldera forms when land collapses, following a volcanic eruption.

Ngorongoro Crater’s caldera is unique. It is the world’s largest caldera with a high elevation at its rim of 10,000 feet and its floor at 5,400 feet. Ngorongoro Crater is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world. The eruption of the crater deposited volcanic ash throughout the Serengeti, which created a mineral-rich fertile soil with high concentrations of phosphorous that grows short grasses the wildebeest thrive on, as every cell of their body contains phosphorous.

The short grasses that grow on the Southern Serengeti Plains during the rainy calving season help the young wildebeest grow strong grazing on them which prepares them for the migration season ahead. Ngorongoro’s unique ecosystem is defined by the rim of the Great Rift Valley wall escarpment that makes it difficult for animals to migrate easily from the crater’s natural enclosure.

Its unique 100-square-mile caldera floor’s eco-culture is home to most of the animal species found in East Africa. The cool breeze at its rim creates ideal conditions within the crater to keep it cool during hot days which encourages animals to enter it. It is inhabited by 25,000 animals.

Its diverse species of wildlife drink from Lake Magadi that is on the floor of the crater formed by other water sources in the crater that flow into it. There is a high probability of seeing the endangered black rhinos drinking from its waters. Ngorongoro has five different prides of lion in the crater and three prides along its rim. There are seven clans of hyena in the crater, of which, three hunt mainly at night. The hyenas provide 80 percent of the lions’ food.

The Ngorongoro Crater is an especially good place for photographic safari expeditions as the animals get close enough to the jeeps for the photographer to click excellent close-up of the wildlife.

Lake Manyara National Park

Manyara is 250 square miles, of which one-third is land, and the remainder being part of Lake Manyara. It is the Tanzania’s third smallest national park. The park is known for its resident forest that is fed by an underground water forest, keeping the park green throughout the year. That attracts both migratory and wetland birds. Two-thirds of the lake is dominated by shallow alkaline-saline soda waters.

The unique waters are formed by Rift Valley heat, causing rapid evaporation of Manyara’s waters, leaving high concentrations of saline and sodium carbonate. It creates an ideal environment for the microorganism, cyan bacteria, to thrive which produces blue-green benthic algae. That attracts flamingos that feed on it.

Whereas the caustic waters that can reach PH levels of nine are too toxic for most other creatures, the flamingos have adapted to it and the benthic algae provide a year-round food source for them.

Lake Manyara National Park’s most common species, in addition to flamingos, are large troops of baboons, blue or syke monkeys, vervet monkeys, tree climbing lions, kudus, buffalos, giraffes, hippos, wildebeest, zebras, elephants, impalas, Grant and Thomson gazelles, lions, cheetahs, warthogs, leopards, hyrax, elands, bush backs, waterbucks, and dik-diks.

Food

During this safari, your daily meals will be provided for you, except on day one in which only breakfast is included. You will also be provided with water and soft drinks during the safari. Most dietary requirements can be catered for. Please inform Lion King Adventures of any specific dietary requirements and those will be communicated to all properties.

Should you require kosher meals, there might incur substantial additional costs as those meals are specially flown in. Two weeks prior notice is required for all dietary requirements.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Cycle around the lake
  • Go for a mountain bike ride
  • Ride a hot air balloon
  • Tour a local brewery
  • Try canoeing
  • Walk through the village of Mto Wa Mbu

What's included

  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Private game drives in a jeep safari
  • Private safari guide
  • Park fees
  • Transfers from and to the airport
  • All water and soft drinks whilst on game drives

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks at the lodges
  • Gratuities

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport Airport transfer included: Kilimanjaro International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
5 days / 4 nights
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Booking conditions

Payment can be made via bank transfer. Most banks charge for the service. You can also pay via credit or debit card which incurs an additional 2% charge.

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